Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Surname Widing with Nordland Roots. Hveding, Hviding, Hvide.

Comment from a Widing with Nordland roots -- Norway's Widings. A county in the north, that borders Sweden's Norrbotten County to the east, and Sweden's Vasterbotten County to the southeast.

 This version of the Widing tale of heroism: the Norwegian heroes save the Norwegian king from the Swedes, by hiding him in a wooden bench, not saving him from a bear in the woods.  In reward, the name Widing or Hveding or Hviding, instead of the patronymic naming otherwise customary. Thank you, far Widing.
"In my line of Widing's the last name was once spelt both Hveding and Hviding.  They were from the Nordland region of Norway, before that roots of the family were all over Scandinavia and mixed with Royalty through out Europe.  Anyway back to the Nordland region to chase down the idea of this history...

In Nordland there was a group of families that seemed set from the rest.  "There exists no fixed method for defining a Nordland family. Some basic factors are that they were socially established since the centuries before 1800, that they lived on the countryside, where they had typical burgher culture and professions, that they married each other, that they bore permanent family names, something that very few people had (ordinary people used patronyms), and that they often had roots outside Norway, mostly in Denmark and the Duchies."  And also, "Nordland families are often associated with the region's several trade seats. One is Lauvøya, which has been possessed by, among others, the Jentoft family and the Hveding family."  

Now it's interesting to note, these people are told to be traced back to the Benkestock noble family.  Now the part that made my ears perk up is that the origin of the family is similar to your Widing tale. "The origin of the family's name, allegedly meaning ‘tree-trunk seat’, has not been established. According to a myth, the family's founding father saved the King of Norway from Swedish soldiers by hiding him in a wooden bench, wherefore he was rewarded with noble status, name, and arms."

Now lets reach back a bit further and what do we find. The Hvide clan which presumably is where this all started.    I guess our people were "protectees of the non-black god Odin."  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nils Widing: Branch tracked 1796 or 1797 - 1947

Where does Nils Widing fit with our Philadelphia Widings? 
Photos from files, Philip Wilhelm Widing born 1867 m. Anna Matilda Osterlund in 1892, other Widings

Is that Anna Osterlund?

Who has time for all the ancestry sites?  We found a letter dated 1994, in our family miscellany file, from a Widing in Norwood, Massachusetts who was asking if we were related. The letter does not have a notation of a response, and her phone number is not in service.  Pending information after a letter to her old address, this is what she wrote: all dates have a question mark after.

1.  Nils Widing, born 1797; or perhaps June 7, 1793, in Kola, Varmland, Sweden

Nils married Johanna Maria Widerberg, born 1796 in Lysekil, Sweden

2.  Their son was Johannes (Johan) August Widing, born October 28, 1828 in Uddevalle, Sweden

Son Johannes married Maria Lovisa Nilsson, born 1842 in Karlstad, Sweden.  Johannes had a prior wife who died, and that first wife had a daughter, Ellen, before she died.  Maria Lovisa (see below) helped to raise this child.  Ellen migrated to California. She married a Norwegian, Gustav Thone, and had four children.

Johannes and Maria had four children:

3.1  Johan August Mauritz Widing, born 1866 in Goteborg, died 1910

3.2  Elin Maria Widing born 1870 in Goteborg, died 1958

3.3  Anna Amalia Lovisa Widing born 1873, or February 5, 1874,  in Goteborg, died 1961

3.4  Nils Gustav August Mauritz Widing born in Goteborg 1884, died 1947

She says she has all the descendants of the 3's in her data base.  She also notes that generation #8 of the descendants of Nils Widing began on May 25, 1993, with the birth of one Jennifer Emma in Boras, Sweden.

Start now with Anna Amalia:

Child Amalia married Per Albin or Alvin (Carlsson) Johnson, and he was born in 1871, died 1950

4  Amalia and Per had two children

4.1  Carl August Henry Johnson, born 1897 in Boston MA, died 1974

4.2  Elin Maria Alvina Johnson born 1899 in Boston MA, died 1983

Elin married Clarence Arnold Nathanael Johnson born 1901 in Seekonk MA, died 1973

5.  Elin and Clarence had one child Doris Louise Johnson born 1934 in Boston MA ______________

Dot dot dot

How did she reach us?  Jon Widing was listed either in the Swedish-American newspaper, Nordestjernan; or The New England Lutheran.  His birthdate is near hers, she being three years older.  "My grandmother (Anna Amalia Lovisa Widing Johnson)  told me that if I ever met anyone named Widing, it would have to be a relative."  A Widings slakt.  Another Widing from Illinois had told our source that her husband's grandparent had told him the same thing.

Naming:  Surnames change.  Here is one who took the name Widing when he "joined the army."  Why? Who was he before?

Other Widings are in Worcester/Holden area in MA, Manchester NH,
Widings' Sweden Roots, reverse side notations, Swedish Roots

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vikings and Cardamom. Scandinavian cooking.

Cardamom is an expensive spice -- each fruit pod with the seed inside has to be taken from the flower stalk by hand.  The pods ripen at different speeds, requiring close watching. Then dry and sell as they mature. It was native to India and Sri Lanka, and used in the Middle East to flavor coffee among other uses, including medicinal. So how did this get to Scandinavia? and in the delicious spicy coffee cakes and breads?

Vikings, says Natural Remedies of Arabia, in Saudi Aramco World magazine, Sept-Oct 2006, online at  They discovered it a millennia ago -- this probably would be the Norse Vikings, as I understand Swedish Vikings tended to go inland and down through Russia to the Black Sea, but the Swedes could well arrived farther south as well?

Others identify the 16th-17th Century Dutch as the bringers of the cardamom, see sites at   

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pan-Archeology, Pan-Religion. New and Old World. Old Uppsala; Cahokia; Cultural Commonality

Similarities in monuments globally, symbols here and there. There are mound-building burial peoples, resembling the structures in Scandinavia and particularly Old Uppsala, in the Western Hemisphere, and not just the Maya and others in Central and South America.  See the National Geographic's Mississippian World article, era 800 - 1050 - 1100 ACE ff; Cahokia, America's Forgotten City, at

1.  Cahokia is the largest of many agricultural communities that, apparently suddenly -- little gradual build-up -- sprang up in the Southern and Southwestern United States. Cahokia was a full city.  Long used as a mere source of dirt, wearing down rather than excavations showed places of apparent human sacrifice or execution, some 53 women, a high-status man, and four men, or would that just be a burial, ritual, buildings on top of the mounds. Some were some 30 feet high, some 300 feet long. See  The name relates only to a French settlement there in the 17th Century.

2.  Monk's Mound, as it is called, covers some 14 acres and that makes it larger in footprint than the Great Pyramid at Khufu. Find images of it at  Artistic pottery design, figures, artifacts.

Someday, an expert will explore similarities in religious beliefs globally, symbols here and there.  These comments from readers were attached to a reference to Odin in another blog, and I reproduce them here, as a Pan-Religious idea.  

"It [the concept of Odin] has very little to do with Sweden apart from that Odin incarnated again and came there. Odin is God.

The very silly propaganda that are being posted and planted everywhere [that Sigge Fridulfsson [early leader of migration from Caucasus to Sweden, and first King, is a man only] is a brainwash. Odin is the God of this world AND he has been reincarnated several times with different names. He is Allfather and all that comes with that title. There is no other "God" than Godan."


And the other reader's response:

"The question doesn't refer to if Odin was a God, but whether Sigge was a man pretending to be a God or if he was a God in mortal form. Then it asks, if he was a man pretending to be a God, how was he successful in convincing others."


Monday, June 20, 2011

Helsingborg - Oresund Ferry to Helsingor, Denmark


The ferry port, at the narrowest point between Sweden and Denmark, starts a passage of about 20 minutes. With delays in Goteborg, no reservation is needed for this commuter ferry across to Denmark.  The waterway is the Oresund, between the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea, heading for the North Sea, and across to Denmark.We enjoy transportation and construction workers in shorts in Scandinavia and other countries. Calves international.

Jaws. Maw. Fear not. Also note the Scandinavian workman's suit, in short pants.  These are also welcome sights on roadwork sites, construction.  We found them in Northern Germany as well as Scandinavia. We did not whistle, although most times we would have been justified in showing some appreciation.

How quiet? Very quiet.

On the other side: Helsingor, Denmark; and Castle Kronborg just outside, on the point; and Shakespeare's vision of old Kronborg, an imagined Elsinore.

Goteborg - Gothenburg, Emigration, Ernst Taube, Lilla Bommen

Goteborg.  Pronounce it "Yutebori" and you might be close.  Maybe. Goteborg, Gothenburg, the city for many meant the leaving place. Many spellings. Aim for the water. There is a market area nearby, with the umbrellas, flowers, produce. Quick park, intending to be right back after seeing the market. Quiet day, no crowds. Then see a ferris wheel - what is there?

I.  Goteborg then.  Goteborg and Immigration - Emigration 

Think Wheels of fortune.

Here, the ferris wheel at the Gothenburg docks, at the mouth of the Gota River, where the ships to America and other places filled with seekers and sailed off.

II.  Gothenburg then. Emigration

To America

There are more Swedes and Swedish descendants in America than there are Swedes in Sweden.

The Swedish government fostered a settlement in America in 1638, with the expertise of explorer Peter Minuit, from the Netherlands.  The colony was located at the Delaware Bay, and named Christina, ir Fort Christina (now Wilmington DE) with 50 passengers on two ships from the Swedish West India Company:  the Fogel Grip and the Kalmar Nyckel, see,_Delaware,_United_States.  In 1640, another town, New Sweden, was settled. But in 1638, the Dutch had already settled what is now New Castle. The Werelate site details the land grabs, purchases, shenanigans, jockeying and fights, of interest maybe only to those of us who used to live there and know the names.

Enterprising people, the Swedes.  They soon joined the fur and tobacco trade and did well.  That angered the Dutch and the English, however, who were more firmly ensconced in their colonies. The nearby Dutch settlement, for example, was huge: from Staten Island (New Amsterdam) all the way up the Hudson River to Albany. The Swedes ended up outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outsettled.

The Dutch Peter Stuyvesant, then governor of the now New York (then New Amsterdam) brought his Armada up the Delaware and took Christina by force.  The year was 1655.  See 

Visit Delaware today and find Christiana Hundred, a "Hundred" being a form of land division, like a county, perhaps. Go to Philadelphia and find Old Swedes' Church, Gloria Dei. They lost the colony but not the heritage. The next wave of immigrants arrived in the 19th Century, with population pressures, economic problems and agricultural disasters in Sweden at the time. During the period 1820-1920, a million Swedes emigrated to the United States. See

III.  Gothenburg now. Lilla Bommen Marina

Lilla Bommen Marina - and the Lipstick Building. Just over there, past the ferris wheel. The Skanska Scraper, or Skyscraper built in 1989.  The address:  Lilla Bommen 1.

A glimpse of that requires a closer look. Leave the amusement area and the docks, and walk that way. Enjoy the ships. This is also known as the Guest Harbor. The building is the Lappstiftet.

Evert Taube.

Culture and beloved figures

Find Evert Taube 1890-1976 there at the waterfront, the troubadour of the docks. Hear the jaunty songs at
He was raised on an island. His father ran the lighthouse. Tired of school, he ran off to Stockholm and when his father found out, went to sea rather than return to school. He settled in Argentina in 1910, did a variety of jobs, then returned to Sweden in the WWI years, becoming a marine (Sweden had armed forces although was neutral).  He started writing songs, and recording when acoustical systems emerged. He remained in Sweden for WWII years, and is known for the sensitivity of his lyrics, see bio.

Evert Taube, Goteborg docks, Sweden (Gothenburg)

We found another expressive statue of Evert Taube, in Stockholm, in the Old Town, Gammla Stan.

Most everything is on the water in Stockholm, since is mostly all islands.  See Evert Taube there, another waterfront, at

IV.  Realities.

The Lipstick Building does dominate. It is an excellent navigation device, for getting back to your car.

Amble, amble.

Oh, rats. A ticket. What next.  FN 1


FN 1  Quick! Look up the police station on the GPS to pay it fast with nice crisp bills  -- ferry leaving for Denmark soon. Find the police station.

Go in with money and apologies, so sorry, time just got away.  Sorry, lady, we don't take payment here.  Try XYZ.  Find XYZ. Another police station.

Go in. Hold out now-damp bills. Sorry, lady, we don't take payment on Sundays. Come back Monday. But we are leaving! So sorry, so sad, hope you enjoyed your stay. Have to pay in person and get receipt because cash just disappears in the boiler room.

Recourse:  Tickets. If you get a ticket in the country where you rented your car, the rental car company maybe can pay for you.  Leave the money with them and get your receipt. But we rented in Denmark.  The rental car company would not pay for Sweden, currency issues, etc.

You are stuck with a wire transfer from your own bank.  That is expensive, so hope that by the time you read this, Sweden progresses to Italy.

In Italy, if you get a ticket, the notice will direct you to the bad people website and you can put it right on your credit card.  Zoom.  Done. Receipts, all covered, thank you.

That does not resolve, however, whether the ticket was proper. Where cameras are involved, it is hard to say.  I got a letter nine months after our return saying I was filmed in the bus lane at such and such a square in Milan. Was I? I do know I was lost the entire time. There are a million squares in Milan. Were they writing the same letter to everybody in the picture and nobody else would pay? Who knows. Pay anyway.

Tickets. Trust and move on.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kviberg Cemetery: Neutrality is not Disinterest; or Isolation

"Neutral" Nations in War
The Traces in Kviberg Cemetery, Gothenberg (Goteborg) 

Find here the name, rank, branch of service, ship if a sailor, the unknowns, soldier of the great war, sailor, pilot; designations for so many whose bodies washed ashore, crashed.  Most from the First World War appear to be sailors. after the naval Battle of Jutland off Denmark in 1916.  There was also the wreck of the HM Drifter Catspaw, en route from  Talinn, Estonia, to Copenhagen, and lost off Oland Island 1919. It was a minesweeper and carried out coastal patrols.  There were no survivors. See

From the Second World War, most appear to be pilots who crashed before or after bombing raids in Germany or German territories.  Graves had been scattered, buried in isolation where they fell or were found, until 1961 when arrangements were made for relocation here. In 1976, a further body was found in Lappland, a pilot from WWII, and brought here. See

German soldiers are also buried here, with level markers and a central stone.

Sweden's government adopted formal neutrality during World War I and World War II, but neutrality is seldom neutral. Even Alfred Nobel, pacifist, creator of the great Nobel Peace Prize, invented the dynamite that has killed so many, in peaceful applications as well as in war.

Neutrality is not a comfortable topic in Sweden. In the military museum in Lidkoping, Sweden is even shown as a participant, not a neutral, as though it always supported the Entente or the Allies at heart. Not necessarily so. A 2007 academic paper about Sweden's armed neutrality in World War I,  by an outsider, may be a good starting point, rather than reading a country's own accounts. A Sim, Ky-Chiu, taking part in an International Program, Korean Minjok Leadership Academy wrote this WHKMLA Paper at

The paper confirms that Swedes were ambivalent about criticizing Germany, whose political structure, military and economic progress they admired. It was mainly the "free thinkers" and "free traders" who were inspired instead by Great Britain. Sweden had commercial interests, and long associations, with the countries at war, especially Germany. And Sweden benefited greatly economically by its position of neutrality. Some would say they had little choice, being so close to the German forces, and seeing the Russian abuses of the Finns.  See paper.  Still, never bombed, it could retain its resources despite hardships when food shortages resulted from later blockades, and post-war flu struck.

In the early years, however, Sweden prospered. Sweden. Armed neutrality. Sweden mined the shipping lanes giving access to the inner Baltic, a step favoring Germany and hindering the Entente fleet in WWI.

Was it a Swedish mine that sank the HM Drifter Catspaw, bodies washed ashore here?  See above.  Sweden did not act neutrally. It also kept importing goods from Germany; and facilitated communications between Germany and others, to further German goals. See the paper; and comment about the Lidkoping Military Museum, where ambivalences are carefully avoided. Then again, we would probably do the same.  Our leaders decide what gets told, just as theirs.

Back to Anderson, unstraightened, not highlighting the wood carving for the name, but showing how it stands out among the other markers.  There is only a rimmed outline for the grave itself.

Many here from the Commonwealth were Australian or New Zealanders, known as ANZAC.  An annual commemoration takes place in the spring. See

The marker next to Anderson:  perhaps these are not military after all? On this side? Several people are here, and it looks like serial numbers?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kungalv: Bohus Fortress, Castle, Prison. Pietism, Jante Law.

Bohus Fastning
Bohus Fortress

Pietism and Jante Law

1.  The Fortress

Bohus was constructed starting in 1308 by the Norwegian King Haakon V Magnuson on the then-border between Denmark-Norway and Sweden. Attacked by the Swedes many times, it was never overcome. There was severe damage after the Norwegians used a volunteer suicide-exploder to slip beneath an arsenal as the Swedes were swarming into it, and to blow it and himself up (successful operation). Rebuild. Fighting still continued until 1652 when Denmark-Norway had to cede the territory to Sweden, by the Treaty of Roskilde. See

By the late 18th Century, local administrators decided to demolish the castle and reuse the stone, and proceeded to do so.  Then the money ran out, leaving a still-substantial structure for museum today.

The prison was then used as a prison, with a noted inmate Thomas Leopold 1693-1771, 18th Century Radical Pietist (live a life of Christian moderation but no need for priests), who refused to recant his heretical views that offended institutional Lutheranism, and spent 42 years in jail for it, some 32 here at Bohus. This from Wikipedia.

2.  Religious beliefs and culture.  Shapings of Pietism. The Beliefs of a Heretic; modern application, culture and immigration, and Jante Law

Thomas Leopold in Bohus, a prison with damp casemates, caves, tunnels beneath. He sought to reform the reformation, with ideas of individualism.  Why was he so fiercely beaten down.

From Radical Pietism in the years following the Reformation, there is reporting of contemporary Atheistic Pietism in today's more secular Sweden. Principles of individualism continue in different ways in contemporary Scandinavian culture, but countered by a philosophy that would not be immediately obvious at all to a visitor:  Jante Law. 

Jante's Law is a topic in itself, but overview is at  FN 1.

It combines a dark side (for those of us raised to value rampant individualism), with a practical survival element.  This combination will be familiar if you ever saw episodes from the old TV series that stemmed from the 1948 film, I Remember Mama, about a Norwegian immigrant family in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century; or have appreciated Ingmar Bergman's films, these are familiar tenets.

View an entire episode of I Remember Mama at
Read the book: Kathryn Forbes, Mama's Bank Account.

3.  More practicalities.

Where to stay when you arrive in a new place late in the day?

Strategy. Think of the next day. 1) Spot the attraction, 2) aim for it, and then 3) look for a hotel. That makes the next day's exploring much easier. Better yet:  find a name that you like.

Fars Hatt Hotel. 

Bohus is visible from a distance, there are many signs for the access paths to it.  The River Gota divides into two branches at Kungalv - and at a fine location is the Fars Hatt Hotel. and conference center. The Fars Hatt at

Grandfather's Hat Hotel, obviously named for the local name for the big north tower at the fortress. We get no kickbacks, but do recommend this one highly. Courtesy, great food, convenience.

We had a view of the fortress from our room at The Fars Hatt . We did not need handicap access for wheelchairs, but applaud the arrangement that shows Swedish - and European - common sense.  

Put the ramp up where it is needed, and expect people to keep their own eyes open. Watch your own step.  No warning signs, no rails, no problem.  Look where you are going.  Kungalv is an easy drive from Lacko Castle, on the way to Goteborg nearby. 


FN 1  One Swedish blogger writes (Swedish translated on internet) in summary that atheistic pietism roots a moral framework in religion, but without also adopting the religious foundation of the institution; or the priests. He sees this as having a strong impact on Swedish nationality. The old pietism rules required moderation and humility, no questioning god, and endurance. No complaining. Quoting from the online translation of the Swedish site --

"All people have equal worth before God, and no priest was needed to communicate with the divine, but every man was his own priest (equality and Jante law). In conclusion, humanity would participate in the sufferings of Christ and in unity with the Bible consider their body as 'temple of God' who were not abused in any way."

The author continues to  note, "Many of these ideas alive in Sweden today, despite that a large majority of Swedes today reject Christianity or other religious affiliation ('we have rejected God but retained the regulations'). What is Jante law? *

Find the Swedish at

Reformation Sweden. Scholarly discourse on pietism:  see  Thomas Leopold gave his life and freedom for his beliefs.  Keep him going.

* Jante Law:  Jantelagen.  See its role in Swedish society in a thesis by Crystal Lee Moller from 1998, the Law of Jante in Swedish Society, at

A surprising introduction is the observation by the author that envy of other's good fortune is prevalent, despite religious origins of envy as a sin. Envy also serves a social purpose:  if others will despise the individualist, the unique,  the excessively showy, then those elements will be kept in check. Solidarity is needed for survival, thus the sacrifice of the individual is functional. Harsh, unforgiving, but it works.

This is interesting.  Will take far more time to learn than this simplistic overview.

Norwegian-Danish author named Aksel Sandemose articulated this Jante Law -- egalitarianism, interdependence, respect - in a novel.  Jante is the name of a fictitious town in Denmark that lives by its own ten commandments, Jante Law.

This Norwegian site describes the basic principles, along the lines that atheistic pietism outlined in the arh site above. See 

Jante law is phrased in the negative:  you shall not think or believe that you are special, smarter or wiser or better or know more or fix things better than others. No laughing at others, and don't believe that others care about you or that you can teach others one little thing.

Criteria for liking people: like them for who they are, not what they do or accomplish or earn.  Tastes? Simple, no excessive show. Pride? In honesty and sincerity in relationships.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lacko Castle, Lake Vanern

Lacko Castle, Kallandsoe, Lake Vanern

Lacko Castle looks modest in size from the main entrance, but extends to the side and back to show areas without windows, clearly for defense in times past.

Lacko Castle as a fortification site dates from 1298, see  This building, however, was built in the 17th Century.  See

One Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie had to vacate in 1681 when King Karl XI expropriated many nobles' estates.  Magnue Gabriel, Count de la Gardie, had been a chief administrator, but his foreign policy did not produce good results, and the King was displeased.   Magnus Gabriel died impoverished.  See  Now it has been refurnished with 17th Century furnishings, tapestries, an armoury with military as well as hunting collections, paintings.  Exhibits are held -- a museum. We arrived too late for that, but had full access to the outside grounds.

This bridge looks old but is probably refurbished as well.

Find your way here after Kinnekulle, out a long peninsula at Kallandsoe.  Then aim for Goteborg.

The architecture modified through the years, from narrow arrow-slit windows for defense, to more an open look when defense was not the priority.  It became more a residence than a fort.  The area now is park-like, with a big parking lot suggesting many tour buses, and families on holiday or the day.

The best way to get the scope of the castle is to back up. Back, back, back.

It would be faster to take the tour boat, but we like the flexibility of a car: stay long or short, change mind.

Lacko as a surname is rooted in Eastern and Central Europe.  See Lacko is identified at that site as Hungarian, a pet name or nickname for the more formal Laszlo (think of Laszlo in Ingrid Berman and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca).  Slovak, Czech, Slovenian, Croatian, says the site. But Lacko is also a local form of Vladislav, and that may make more sense geographically.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kinnekulle. Husaby Kyrka Frescoes, Odin, Furnishings, Paintings, Carvings.

Odin in Husaby
The Churches of Kinnekulle
A Story of Transitions


1.  Religious

Proseletyzing for a new religion usually requires showing some connection between the old and the new. In that way, the crossover can be touted as voluntary, a needed step where there are no immediate armies of the new religion as backup, to kill the reluctant. The mainland Germanic tribes were subject to the killing approach of Charlemagne:  it took time, but it ultimately worked.  That was not feasible in Norway or Sweden, so the mythological parallel approach took over.  The god sacrificing himself on a tree to achieve a higher goal.  Common theme in many religions.

Odin.  Odin hung on the Tree of Life, the Tree of the Lives, Yggdrasil, for nine days as a sacrifice so he could learn the secrets of the runes.  See 

Early representations of the crucifixion story (Christian) maximize the text that the crucifixion took place on a tree.  See John references,, they hung him on a tree.  Use that wording, instead of cross, and the Odin idea of Odin who also hung in a tree, slid right over.  Nothing to worry about here, folks, just keep moving.  Just the same story. So, see the Swedish cross looking like a tree, with the branches nipped off:

Crucifix incorporating Tree of the Lives motif (Odin suggestion), Husaby Kyrka, Kinnekulle

Yggdrasil. This crucifixion is a fitting representation for this place. The cross as Tree. Tree of Life  Yggdrasil. The tree imagery is also at Forshem Kyrka, The rosette at the foot of the tree-cross is a common medieval motif, like a solar cross symbol, but need to focus more on this particular one to figure out what it is.

2.  Economic

A Treasure. Kinnekulle as biosphere.

Mount Kinnekulle has been a regional crossroads for shifts not just in religion, but in social and cultural change. Kinnekulle moved from  a) as an economic entity, owners and workers, b) to current scientific and flora-fauna and geological interest, and c) to a recreational and hiking center, see

Read the vision of a biosphere, see

3.  Kinnekulle as base for studying old Churches, how they changed.

Churches here have been enough off the beaten track to allow parts untouched, or easily restored. Find wide shifts in how the stories were told. And see the initial vitality in art and representation, turn to rigid Reformation, and then to relaxing back.

A progression of missionaries, from the 9th Century wooden stave churches, and those works did not last; to St. Sigfrid in the 11th Century, stone works, and those did last.  The stone church era was decorative, full of art, expression, color, pattern, teaching tools on ceilings and on walls.  Then came the Reformation.  The colors were painted over in order to get rid of the distracting nonsense. Think Calvin.  Concealment meant protection, however, and the works could be restored. Remember art class - the idea of horror vacui. Fear of empty spaces.  Fill it all up.  See it again now. Regardless of the angle of your head twisting up to see, there is something facing yo.

The dominance of women in early representations in Scandinavia also reflects the far more active leadership role of women in the culture.  Big Mary, little bishop. Is that so?  Mother earth again. 

Teaching tools:  banners to be read, an alphabet to be learned.  Do it in church.

Story words are in the banners, and identifying the figures.

The furnishings are said to be the oldest in Sweden.  

Turned post style apparently dates from the 12-13th Centuries, but we are not sure of the date of this particular bench.  The Bishop's Chair, however, has been dated.

This may be the oldest furnishing in Sweden.  We are supposed to note the Romanesque arcading at the base of this chair, and the style of "turned post" seating, see the Grove Encyclopedia, the Husaby Bishop's Chair at the crucifixion at the top right.   Two women at the base, a modest representation in blue-black-white.  the cross is a mainland European-type cross here:  not with the tree motif.

And for the event:  a humble, pained figure.  It looks like an Elf Cross at the feet, an indigenous representation, equal sided, in a circle, a talisman against mischief of the Elves.  Looking at the photo now, is that Bat shapes?  Love it.

Someone later must have protested that the symbolism of the Tree, which evoked Odin and made people feel more at home with this new religion probably, had to be superseded.  In came this crucifix:  jarring.  Who put this here?  Greek columns, Baroque alien.  Even looks show-off.

Look again at the photograph above, of the Bishop's chair, and the enlargement of the crucifixion.

The figures are in the same poses.  But the plain one is more moving than this technicolor plastic.  A brochure online for the furnishings and details of the church would be so helpful.